Coming Out of Left Field

Monday, November 29, 2004

Sports award

Sports Illustrated might have jinxed the Sox a couple of times, but there's no cover curse this time around:

Who else? Red Sox and their fans make Sportsman of the Year choice an easy one

It's really nice that they included the Fenway Faithful as well as the team. Thanks, SI. :)

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A man with a plan

George Saunders knows how to fix the Middle East. I wonder if a certain other George would be interested? He might actually do something good in Iraq for a change.

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Friday, November 26, 2004

Happy holidays!

Got this in an e-mail the other day, and just had to share:

A friend of mine has drawn a series of postcards starring a similarly wily bird. In the one I got a while back, the turkey was studying books on great escapes. Naturally, it also had a poster of its inspiration on one wall.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Lateral thinking puzzle: "The Dream"

Every so often on Easily Addictive, I post a lateral thinking puzzle, and I thought it might be fun to post one here too. If it gets responses, I'll post more.

For those who have never done a lateral thinking puzzler before, here's how it works:

-- Read the situation, which more often than not is a mini-mystery.
-- Ask a question (use the handy comments feature) that can be answered in one of three ways -- yes, no or irrelevant.
-- Based on my answer, ask another question, and another, until you arrive at an explanation for the mystery.

This puzzle is called "The Dream," and it comes from Paul Sloane's Lateral Thinking Puzzles:

The boss of a storage warehouse had just arrived at work when one of his employees burst into his office. The man explained that while asleep the previous night he had dreamed that one of the stored boxes contained a bomb that would explode at two p.m., causing a terrible fire. The boss was skeptical, but agreed to investigate. After a search, a bomb was found in the area foreseen in the man's dream. The police were called, the bomb defused, and a tragedy averted. Afterwards, the boss thanked the employee sincerely and then fired him.

The sacked man had not planted the bomb, and his prophetic dream had saved the warehouse from destruction. Yet the manager was right to fire him. How could that be so?


Taking a step back

After a lot of soul-searching -- with accompanying stress -- I decided the other day to take a break from school. Fortunately the professor and I worked it out that I'd take an incomplete, with the understanding that I'll finish it at some point. Maybe over the summer?

Unless the leave lasts more than one semester, I shouldn't lose too much ground. I'm still on target to finish in fewer than 10 years. Good thing too -- I'm not getting any younger!


Monday, November 22, 2004

Black comedy quote

"First we blow up your house, then we pay you to rebuild it."
A colonel in Fallujah, as quoted in the New York Times (via this week's New Yorker).

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Thursday, November 18, 2004

Literacy link

The operators of The Hunger Site and other click-for-charity sites have just added a new one to their lineup:

The Literacy Site

Clicking the button generates a donation to First Book, which distributes books to low-income families (more than 20 million in the last three years). So click for books -- and spread the word!

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Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Be all that you can be?

The other day, I got the funniest piece of snail mail I've received in a long time: an invitation to join the Army National Guard. Yep, yours truly could be a key soldier in the battle to protect truth, justice and the American Way. I could even get money for college, woo-hoo! It is about fourteen years too late, but it's the thought that counts, right?

Sadly, I can't the Army up on its generous offer, which is probably just as well. Thanks to my politics, sexual orientation, and inability to run or shoot, I'd get sent home the first day of boot camp anyway.


Monday, November 15, 2004

Runaway rumors

The Web can be a wonderful thing, but sometimes it can be dangerous ...

-- An e-mail petition is circulating (I've gotten it three times now) to protest David Hager's appointment as head of the FDA's Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee. Great, except that he's already been on the committee for two years (just as a member, not as the head):

Snopes: W. David Hager

-- In a couple of different places, pro-Kerry people have told folks to send reports of voting fraud to John Kerry's brother, Cameron. After having his law office e-mail swamped with messages, Cam is now asking that reports be sent to the DNC instead of him:

A message from Cam Kerry

I guess the one good thing about the pre-Internet, pre-telephone days was that rumors took a much longer time to spread. Though I suppose they took longer to debunk, too.


One hurdle down, two to go

Got the film production exam over with today. There were a lot of technical questions -- damn, I thought I'd never have to do math after finishing high school -- but I think it went OK. Last Friday's review session helped, especially since one of the questions we went over appeared for extra bonus points. Now I just have to throw together a soundtrack for Wednesday and plan this weekend's shoot, and I can stop hyperventilating for a little while.

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Thursday, November 11, 2004

Sports quotes

"I played a little high school quarterback back in the day ... We ran the ball a lot more than we threw it."
-- K Adam Vinatieri, who threw a four-yard touchdown pass in last Sunday's game against the Rams.

"We're all in trouble if I'm playing defense ... I can't guard anyone out there."
-- QB Tom Brady, speaking of the very unlikely prospect of his playing linebacker.

(Both quotes from today's Jackie MacMullan column, No taking offense with title defense)

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Investigate the vote

Six members of Congress are demanding an investigation to determine whether votes were counted properly in this year's election. To ask that your senators and representatives join them, sign's petition, and forward it to anyone else who might be interested. At worst, an investigation would give us closure; at best, it might toss Shrub out of office once and for all.

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Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Stress city

Next Monday, I have a class exam: 25% of my grade.

Next Wednesday, my second project is due: another 25% of my grade.

By next Saturday, I'm supposed to start shooting my third project: another 30% of my grade.

Ulp. Is it too late to get a clone?

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Thursday, November 04, 2004


School assignments have always been stressful. My current one is proving more stressful than most, mainly because it's impossible to edit your film if you don't have it in hand. Self-evident? Yes, except to the lab which took my footage, developed it, and dropped it into a black hole somewhere (instead of the clearly-marked locker at school). Since there is a tiny sliver of hope that someone simply picked it up by mistake, no names will be named here just yet. Ah, the joys of film school ...

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Wednesday, November 03, 2004


Kerry's White House hopes end as he calls Bush to concede

Well, it feels like the end of the world. But it's not, folks. We're going to be sad and depressed for a little while. Then we're going to think about all the positive energy that came out of this -- the new voters registered, the record turnout -- and carry that forward into the next batch of elections. Me, I'm going to help the Massachusetts Dems take back the governor's seat in 2006. What about you?

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Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Vote -- just do it!

Did my civic duty this morning, and was (for once) happy to wait in line. In the interest of full disclosure -- not that any of this will be a huge surprise -- here's how I voted:

President - John Kerry. Four years of Bush was four too many.

Congressman - Michael Capuano (only candidate). Seems to be doing a good job.

State Senator - Charles Shannon (only candidate). Ditto, plus also voted against all the discriminatory amendments to the state constitution.

State Representative - Carl Sciortino (only candidate). Memo to Vincent Ciampa, the incumbent: you lost the primary already. The gentlemanly thing would've been to concede defeat and move on. Instead, you're using smear tactics, and condoning even worse from the virulent anti-gay group Article 8. See ya, Ciampa, and don't let the door hit you on the way out.


Monday, November 01, 2004

Counting down

As Kate Clinton would say, "Two more days!"

Two more days until the election.

Two more days until the only poll that matters.

Two more days until the country chooses a new president.

Two more days until we the people give George Bush his pink slip and a one-way ticket back to Crawford, Texas.

I can't wait.